I am writing to you from Jakarta, which is the capital city of Indonesia. The journey has been exhausting, and I have felt a little bit depressed on the journey having received some discouraging news from a brother in the Lord before departing from London, however it has stirred me to pray to God all the more and fully trust in Him, which at times can be difficult, however I am reminded of the scripture that says “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” in Romans 14:23. So I have felt the challenge all the more to press on with my faith and of course I have been continually energised by the many opportunities that I have been given to share the Gospel.
The next leg of my journey takes me East to Jayapura, and then on to Wamena where I am looking forward to join forces with the team on the ground. Thank you so much to those that are praying faithfully for the work in Indonesia.
The Foolish Tortoise
An ancient Indonesian fable tells about the foolish tortoise who, chased by hunters, suspended himself by his jaws from a stick, and convinced two geese to carry him to safety. It is illustrated in this frieze found on the staircase of Mendut Temple in Java.
He would hold on to a stick with his mouth as it was carried by the geese, however when the tortoise heard the onlookers on the ground saying, “Aren’t those geese brilliant!” his pride was so hurt that he shouted, “It was my idea!” Just as true to human nature, the silly tortoise could not stop himself from opening his mouth to boast of his cleverness, which of course caused him to lose his grip on the stick, and so he fell down to his death on the rocks below. His pride became his downfall.
In a not so dissimilar way for 41 years, Asa was a strong and humble king. He brought peace and prosperity to the kingdom of Judah. During the early years of Asa’s reign he prayed, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You” (2 Chronicles 14:11).
But toward the end of his reign, when the army of the northern kingdom of Israel confronted him, Asa sought help from the king of Syria instead of from God. Because of his foolishness, his rule weakened and his nation experienced wars. What went wrong? Proud of past achievements, Asa had forgotten to depend on the Lord, so the Lord was no longer showing “Himself strong” on Asa’s behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9).
God is of course still looking for those who will allow Him to show Himself strong in their lives. Living a humble, God-dependent life is truly a brilliant idea! A the end of the day, it is the one who depends on God who is stronger!
“He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30)